Sometimes life just feels messy.
A common trap we all fall into is thinking other people have it great when things aren’t going right for us.
But the truth is that life is messy for everyone, some people just learn deal with it in different ways and accept that messy and beautiful can coexist.
Every year in February I mentor a group of women though an online business program called B-School. We start with loads of free education during the entire month of February to give people an honest look of what the program is like, then those who want more can join the full program.
Something that happens behind the scenes that most people don’t see is the (literally hundreds) of emails we receive asking for advice or input on a current situation.
Each year I hear from loads of women who know they want more in life but can’t seem to find which direction to go. Life feels messy right now for most of these women. Ideas for starting a new business, direction to go five years in, financial concerns, or why they can’t seem to make a profit despite being willing to do the work are just a few of the topics that come up. Being asked for help is humbling to say the least.
But I understand, because I’ve been there, too.
I’ve been rising with the sun every morning in Bali to check in and see what these women need. I just finished emailing about 10 of you, and the same common themes kept coming up. I wanted to share this with everyone right now so you can come back to and/or share it with the women in your life who need to hear these things, too.
First and foremost, I am by no means perfect and continue to learn these things for myself almost every damn day. The thing about personal growth is that you don’t just learn things once. It’s quite the opposite, actually.
Any lesson you are meant to learn in life will keep showing up again and again, even once you’re SURE you’ve mastered it. It’s like the J.Crew catalog; it literally just keeps showing up even when you move to a new state or change your name or change your identity completely. Life lessons and J.Crew catalogs will continue to find you no matter where you go. You cannot outrun them.
With that, here are the five things I know are true that will help you get unstuck and make the most out of life even when things feel messy. Because, honey, life can be messy and beautiful at the same time.
5 Messy Yet Beautiful Life Lessons Every Women Should Know
1. Your best ideas come to you when you are in action.
A huge mistake that most people make is sitting around thinking about their ideas, or thinking they need to have the full idea planned out before they take any action. I get it: when you can’t see the whole plan in front of you it feels messy to even get started. However, my best (and most profitable) ideas have always come to me when I was in action, learning or creating something else.
We all so badly want a guarantee that it will work out. But instead of wishing for a guarantee that something will work out, wish for the courage to take action despite no knowing the outcome. You don’t know what you don’t know, but being in action will get you thinking in new directions and creating magic. I had the idea for my most profitable online health course in the middle of an event that I flew across the country to attend. The theme of the event had nothing to do with online courses, but just being in that room sparked the idea and it all grew from there.
My personal mantra: Even better ideas come once I’m in action.
2. Achieving your goals and dreams will always cost you something else.
Getting anything you want in life is always a matter of weighing the opportunity cost. For example, you might have to give up going out with friends on the weekends, all day Sunday Netflix binges, or buying new clothes for two years in order to create space to reach your goals. More challenging, you might have to leave a toxic situation. Or, you might have to shift relationships or even painfully move on from ones that you outgrow or choose not to prioritize. These compromises are only for you and your heart to know and sometimes they will feel messy.
For me, I always choose relationships over career. But other than that, I’ve prioritized my dream of online entrepreneurship above other things. The important thing is that you are very clear with yourself about your priorities and what you are willing to give up (or not give up) to achieve your dreams.
My personal mantra: I have my priorities straight and know what I’m willing to sacrifice.
3. Burnout breeds mediocrity.
No downtime leads to mediocre work. You can’t be 100% on 24/7 so give yourself planned downtime. Now, this is a little bit of a delicate topic because it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work. Going weeks on end without taking any action isn’t downtime unless you’re on planned sabbatical. This isn’t a hall pass to keep procrastinating or not show up. This is more for the hardcore drivers out there who tend to burn themselves out by scheduling back-to-back appointments six days a week.
More work is often not the way to create more success. Burnout makes everything else in life feel messy because working 24/7 leaves you operating at a low vibration. I’ve learned that if I don’t have at least three completely unscheduled days in my calendar each week then tasks only get halfway done and nothing seems to flow. I still might work a little on those unscheduled days, but there’s no pressure of appointments or deadlines.
My personal mantra: Work hard, play hard, rest hardest.
4. You have the power to change your beliefs.
If this is the first time you’ve heard this it might take your brain a little while to grab on. That’s ok, though, you can take all of the time you need. (BUT don’t take too long because life is waiting for you!) Your ego will make up stories that tell you to stay small. You will believe these stories and believe they are as set in stone as airline change fees. Yes, United will charge you $200 to change a $180 flight—that is set in stone. But that whole story you make up about not being good enough or not knowing enough or not (fill-in-the-blank) enough is just that, a story.
Your ego learns to tell you why things are dangerous as a child to keep you safe, but this no longer serves you as an adult. Thoughts of failing feel dangerous, but they are not in fact, dangerous. Thank your ego for keeping you safe as a child, and release it as your adult self. You have the power to shift your beliefs at any age or moment in your life. I used to believe that there was only a certain amount of success to go around. After showing up and learning from women I admire, I learned to shift that belief to now understand that success is not limited like small pieces of pie. I used to believe that there wasn’t enough to go around. Now I know that we all bake our own pies and we can bake as many as we want. My pies are raw, vegan, gluten-free and made with organic ingredients, but you do you. Your pies can be anything you want, that’s the point.
It can feel really messy to change your beliefs, but trust me, it’s worth it.
My personal mantras: I don’t make up stories that haven’t happened and let them prevent me from taking action. I am willing to change my beliefs and learn new things.
5. Self-doubt is part of the human condition.
Every single person on the planet—no matter how confident they seem—experiences self-doubt. I’m literally doubting myself as I type this sentence.
I was in a taxi on my way to LAX last month to fly to Bali and the nice driver was asking what brought me to LA. I mentioned I was there to speak at a female entrepreneur event, and we got to talking about what it takes to own your own business. He said, verbatim, “Trust me, I have more self-doubt than other people.” I sat an extra 10 minutes in his taxi at the airport explaining to him that every person I’ve ever mentored feels that way. At first he didn’t believe me, but I kindly mentioned #4 above about how important it is to be willing change our beliefs. He believed he had more self-doubt than any other person he’d ever met. If he was willing to change that and understand that other people experience the same feeling, he would feel more confident in taking action, could help other people who struggle, and could be part of a community. I watched the look on his face as had the realization—the change of belief—and his eyes softened and he immediately looked more confident.
I’ve made over two million dollars in the last handful of years and I still doubt every idea I have. It’s not about not doubting yourself. Self-doubt never goes away, kind of like those aforementioned J.Crew catalogs. Successful people act despite their doubt.
My personal mantra: I take action even though I doubt myself.
My hope for you is that you learn to take action and move forward despite not having a guarantee that it will all work out. Hold the belief that even if it doesn’t go as planned—because it rarely does—that it will be even better. And hold even tighter onto the belief that life can be messy and beautiful at the same time.
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Sending you tons of love for success around the world,